Maneskin comes in first at annual Sanremo Festival

Sofia RositaniArts & Entertainment Editor

The festival of Sanremo ended on Saturday, March 6. This festival is held every year and is almost like the Coachella of Italy.

This year, the festival was held with no audience, which was very weird since the hosts, Fiorello and Amedeo Sebastiani, were running around the seats. Hearing the claps of people who were not there was weird for me. It reminded me of a scene from “The Shining.”

Even though there were no audience, the orchestra did not disappoint with reacting when needed.

The performances were also very good with Max Gazzé being my personal favorite as he was dressed as Leonardo Da Vinci, singing and dancing surrounded by cardboard cutouts of different people in history. Such as Marylin Monroe, Jimmy Hendrix and a Franciscan monk. Another personal favorite of mine, Gaudiano, with his song “Polvere da Sparo,’’ has already won for Sanremo Giovani, aka Sanremo Young.

This year’s Sanremo ran for three to four hours with amazing performances from artists like Francesca Michelin and Fedez, Folcast, Colapesce and Dimartino and many more artists.

There were 26 contestants and all whom were currently the most popular artists in Italy.

Sanremo is an annual festival in Italy that helps Italy choose who will be attending Eurovision in the upcoming months. In modern day Italy, this is done through the watchers casting their votes on their phones.

Each female contestant, performer, and host gets a bouquet of flowers before they leave due to Sanremo being known as the “town of flowers.”

Throughout the festival, they also do small performances with popular singers from the past, such as Mahmood, Sanremo 2019, and Diodato, Sanremo 2020, returning to perform and promote their new album. Older performers such as Loredana Berte, who has never won Sanremo but has participated in the contest since 1982 were also present.

The winners for the 71st annual Sanremo was a band called Måneskin, consisting of Damiano David on lead vocals, Victoria De Angelis on bass, Thomas Raggi on guitar and Ethan Torchio on drums.

This band has become very popular in Italy over the last couple of years due to their rocker aesthetic and very interesting music videos.

They ended up winning second place on X Factor Italia, where their fame slowly grew. Their most popular video on YouTube is a music video called “Torna a Casa” (Return Home) with 102 million views.

I personally enjoy their stage presence and their music but I think there should have been a different artist who won this year because while Måneskin is a great band, they are already very popular and I believe someone else should get to attend Eurovision May 18.

The song itself is very hard rock with amazing head-banging elements, something that does not usually win Sanremo. A lot of the time, slower paced songs win the contest.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s festival was held with no audience but it did not stop one contestant from needing to go home and quarantine due to testing positive for the virus.

Irama, a very popular rapper and singer in Italy was supposed to perform on the second night but due to him testing positive for COVID-19, he was forced to go home and even though he had to go home.

They did not disqualify him, instead they showed his rehearsal video from the day before.

It was very disappointing as a fan to not be able to see him perform but hopefully we will see him next year in the 72nd annual festival di Sanremo.

Throughout the festival, both Sebastiani and Fiorello were trying to keep it light hearted while following COVID-19 protocols, including carting in the flowers for the women of Sanremo rather than handing it to them, standing six feet away from others, and not having any physical contact with other hosts and contestants. Some funny parts of the event involved Fiorello getting his mustache shaved off by Sebastiani during a segment where no one was performing.

It was very odd to see but they were able to make it work really well and included small jokes about how they could not do certain things, and how they can now run around the seats in the arena unlike before.

Sanremo is the one event many Italians will not miss, even if there is a time difference, and being able to watch it this year with a pandemic going on gave me a sense of normalcy.

I cannot wait to watch Måneskin perform “ZITTI E BUONI” (Quiet and Good) at Eurovision in May with the other countries performing their hit songs.

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